We just returned from a week at the Grand. We went with two other couples. It is first class all the way. We read dozens and dozens of reviews before we selected the Grand, and we were not disappointed in our choice. You really have to look hard to complain about something at this hotel.
This is not the Four Seasons or a Ritz Carlton--and our group has stayed at plenty of those. It is a Mexican All-Inclusive that is tremendous. I have panned some great hotels--Fairmont in Bermuda and the Palace in SF. I am shocked someone is panning this place.
One example of service. I was lost in a book...finishing the last 50 pages. I left my room to sit in a breezy location. I stopped at a couch and eventually laid on the couch. My head was resting on the hard edge of the couch. A staff person noticed this and came over with a pillow and put it under my head! Are you kidding? The service doesn't get much better.
Restaurants: My expectations were low, even though most of the reviews were good. The food far exceeded our expectations. The variety was great, quality excellent and the service unparalled. We went to two buffet nights, Japanese, Surf and Turf, Gourmet and the new Mexican restaurant. ALL were great and different. They did attempt to upgrade our wine at the Surf and Turf. We bought a couple of expensive bottles and then went back to the house wine. The upgrades were just not worth the extra. The steak is the best I have had in Mexico. It is not Morton's or Chop House...but this is Mexico, not Texas or Chicago. Don't go for the steaks. We are not usually a buffet couple, but the Grand was great. The variety, quality and freshness were all very good. At the international night buffet, you get a sampling from all of the restaurants.
Facilities: Constantly being maintained, painted, repaired. They really take care of the place. I was impressed with the safety focus of the staff--eye and ear protection, weight belts and all uniformed. It is a phenominal facility. The quality of features, public bathrooms, artifacts, tile, marble, statues...amazing.
Pool Areas: We did both pools. I don't know what the chap from England was thinking when he signed up for an all-inclusive. The crowd at the pool bar was very professional, not loud, music was quite muted and the noise level was very acceptable--maybe we were the ones making the noise! The tranquility pool was nice, but like a library. Just wasn't our style. We went there only for one morning. The large, salt water pool is a swimmer's dream. It is 100 yards long, well kept, very clean, and the service is tremendous. The wait staff kept us watered and fed. The service was good and professional. Pool games are always loud. During the games, it is a bit obnoxious if you aren't playing, but fun if you were. They kept them short and tried to appeal to all ages.
Staff: Back to comparisons. I have stayed, and have reviewed 5 start hotels and resorts all around the world. The service here was the best I have experienced. The staff is professional, smiling, well-trained and always willing to engage. They are instructed to greet you in spanish and if you respond only in English, they will then engage you in English. However, they were fun to often say, "Oh, you speak spanish?" and then let you try out your horrible, broken spanish.
Many of the staff are recent graduates of universities with a Tourism degree. They are all bi or tri lingual and incredibly professional--many only in their mid to late 20's. The pool / game staff is the same and a lot of fun. Many of them turn into entertainers during the night so multi-talented as well.
Rooms: Spectacular with only one exception. We were in building 70. Go ahead and upgrade--it's worth every penny. The water temperature was a little rough. Showers went hot and cold without warning. That's a very small change they could make to an otherwise spectacular room. The beds and linens are first class. The appointments are professional and everything comfortable. I had no problems with Internet throughout the hotel.
Beach: The other reviewers are accurate. It's not good, except for the lounge area of the hotel. The beach furniture is high quality and the service on the beach is excellent. There isn't much to see walking in either direction and the walking is not great since the beach is slanted. You will appreciate the Grand when you walk by the beach area of the Lindo and Maya. They are much more crowded and noisier.
GO, GO, GO. If you can afford it and you don't have kids travelling with you, stay at the Grand. We walked through the other two properties and they just do not compare--strong disagreement with another reviewer below. You wanted to go back to the Lindo? Unless you like the sound of screaming children, don't stay there.
Enjoy your trip mi amigos.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Directly on the long, fine, sandy beach of Playa Paraiso in Mexico's Riviera Maya. Top 5-star luxury. Quiet and relaxing. Personal butler and concierge service. 24 hours all inclusive service. 4 a la carte restaurants. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Iberostar Playa Paraiso
- Playa Paraiso Iberostar
- Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso Playa Paraiso, Riviera Maya, Mexico